Dispersant use and a bioremediation strategy as alternate means of reducing the impact of large oil spills on mangrove biota in Australia: the Gladstone field trials

Duke, Norman C., Burns, Kathryn A., Swannell, Richard P.J., Dalhaus, Otto, and Rupp, Roland J. (2000) Dispersant use and a bioremediation strategy as alternate means of reducing the impact of large oil spills on mangrove biota in Australia: the Gladstone field trials. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 41 (7-12). pp. 403-412.

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Abstract

Over a three-year period (1995-1998), we studied short term effects of dispersant use and a bioremediation strategy in sub-tropical Australian mangroves. We briefly report on the results of two series of field trials in which we applied weathered oil, simulating large oil spill conditions in three replicate sites of mature Rhizophora stylosa trees, around 4-9 m tall. In the first trials, we used Gippsland light crude oil with and without dispersant, Corexit 9527, and each was weathered before application. In the second series of trials, we applied a bioremediation strategy immediately after application to the plots of two oils, the Gippsland oil and Bunker C fuel oil. The bioremediation strategy involved forced aeration along with supplemental application of nutrients within the first six months of oiling. Effects of treatments were evaluated from the responses of trees and three dominant faunal components in the study area, namely caterpillars in the canopy, crustaceans on the forest floor and Sipunculid worms within the sediments. Dispersant use had an overall positive benefit shown, in particular, by a reduction in tree mortality. By contrast, there was no apparent reduction in mortality of trees where bioremediation was applied. However, one year after oiling, canopy leaf densities of surviving trees were greater in bioremediation plots than controls, and less in oil-only plots. Results from these studies have been incorporated into spill response management strategies in Australia.

Item ID: 48917
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: mangrove; habitat; plants; fauna; oil spill; impact; recovery; field experiment; Gladstone; Queensland; Australia; IWP
ISSN: 1879-3363
Funders: Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA), Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS)
Projects and Grants: AIMS Mangrove Oil Spill Project
Date Deposited: 11 May 2017 00:35
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050207 Environmental Rehabilitation (excl Bioremediation) @ 30%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050206 Environmental Monitoring @ 40%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 30%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 30%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960503 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Coastal and Estuarine Environments @ 30%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9612 Rehabilitation of Degraded Environments > 961201 Rehabilitation of Degraded Coastal and Estuarine Environments @ 40%
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